What is Dating Violence?

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined by the victim with consideration of the following factors:

  1. The length of the relationship;
  2. The type of relationship; and
  3. The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship

Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.  It does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Controlling behavior may include:

  • Not letting you hang out with your friends
  • Calling or texting you frequently to find out where you are, whom you're with, and what you're doing
  • Telling you what to wear
  • Having to be with you all the time
  • Waiting outside of your classes to see what you’re doing and with whom you are talking

Verbal and emotional abuse may include:

  • Calling you names
  • Jealousy
  • Belittling you (cutting you down)
  • Threatening to hurt you, someone in your family, or himself or herself if you don't do what he or she wants.

Physical abuse may include:

  • Shoving
  • Punching
  • Slapping
  • Pinching
  • Hitting
  • Kicking
  • Hair pulling
  • Strangling

Anyone can be a victim of dating violence. Both men and women are victims, but males and females often abuse their partners in different ways. Females are more likely to yell, threaten to hurt themselves, pinch, slap, scratch, or kick. Males injure their partners more and are more likely to punch their partner and force them to participate in unwanted sexual activity.

If You Are a Victim of Dating Violence, You Might…

  • Think it's your fault.
  • Feel angry, sad, lonely, depressed, or confused.
  • Feel helpless to stop the abuse.
  • Feel threatened or humiliated.
  • Feel anxious.
  • Not know what might happen next.
  • Feel like you can't talk to family and friends.
  • Be afraid of getting hurt more seriously.
  • Feel protective of your boyfriend or girlfriend.

More information can be found at: victimsofcrime.org